Wine & Chocolate Pairing: Harry & David
Award-winning wines provide the perfect Oregonian accent on the company’s signature truffles, adding another memorable choice to its wide range of premium gift items.
First, the company began offering wines from other producers as part of its collection. But it wasn’t long before Harry & David determined that they should introduce their own label, particularly since the terroir in Oregon was so ideal for winemaking.
Thus in November 2012, Harry & David established a partnership with local winemaker Linda Donovan, adding its own line. Today, the Harry & David wine collection consists of 14 wines. All of the wine comes from the Willamette, Umpqua and Southern Oregon regions.
The collection includes sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, Riesling, moscato, pinot gris and a late harvest viognier in the whites, and pinot noir, reserve pinot noir, Malbec, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and a blend called Ross Lane Red in the reds. A rosé is also available.
As one would expect, Harry & David’s wines quickly garnered critical acclaim. The 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve won its first gold medal at the third annual Great Northwest Wine Competition and another gold medal at The Oregon Wine Experience. Aged for 16 months in oak barrels, the Pinot Noir Reserve has developed into a unique and exceptional red.
What better way for Harry & David to entice customers to try its award-winning wines than by coupling them with its signature chocolate truffles? The Signature Truffle assortment contains milk chocolate, dark chocolate, raspberry, coffee cherry and almond varieties. Using the same signature truffle recipe handed down 30 years ago; the truffles are made in Harry & David’s candy kitchen using a rich, secret chocolate blend.
Candy Industry Magazine’s editorial staff teamed up with Harry & David’s experts to provide some tasting notes on the wine and the truffle combinations.
Harry & David 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve
HARRY & DAVID:
The 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve draws from the state’s well-known legacy of producing excellent pinot noirs. Made from select vineyards spanning multiple terroirs, the wine is aged in French oak barrels for more than 16 months. This complex red delivers silky tannins and a smooth berry finish.
There’s a reason that this Pinot Noir Reserve won two gold medals. Unlike Sideways, the famed 2004 movie featuring pinot noirs from Santa Barbara as part of the supporting cast, this Oregonian is the headliner. Seductive at first nose, the wine caresses the palate as only a fruity pinot noir can.
Harry & David Signature Truffles
HARRY & DAVID:
The silky tannins and lightness of 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve enhance the creaminess of the milk chocolate truffles. Its complexity heightens the flavor of the coffee truffles. The berry notes of the wine are deliciously accentuated when combined with the raspberry truffle. And the wine elevates the complex flavors and enhances the appealing bitterness of the dark chocolate.
Can there be any bad pairings when combining chocolate truffles and wine? The sweet truffle fillings dance provocatively with the tannins and fruit notes. In this instance, cherry proved to be the night’s star, inciting fruits into a passionate embrace. Raspberry came a close second, again providing a burst of intense fruit, the pinot noir gently bringing the degustation down to earth. And as our counterparts at Harry & David correctly pointed out, the milk chocolate truffle’s creaminess partnered up with the pinot noir seamlessly, all silky and smooth. The dark chocolate and the pinot noir were also naturals, putting on the Ritz and tap dancing their way to perfect harmony between the chocolate and the wine.